I took an overnight flight to Paris. My first instagram post technically said, “I woke up in Paris,” but to be honest I never fell asleep. Sleep-deprived, confused, and officially off the grid (no data for me), I emerged from the airport and tried to figure out how I was going to get to my Airbnb. I bought a RoissyBus ticket, which dropped me off near a metro stop about 45 minutes later, where I had to then figure out the Paris metro system. Eventually, I did make it to the little apartment in the 5th arrondissement– even though the little French grandma on the first floor tried to send me out of the building at first. That first evening, I was too exhausted to do anything but shower, explore the streets around the apartment, and shop at little grocery stores. The man who sold me strawberries asked me out (I never saw him again after that day), I walked back down the street with my first French baguette in hand, and I slept deeply that night.
The next morning, my first scheduled event of the trip was the “Best Croissants & Coffee of Paris Walk.” It was also the first experience I ever booked using Airbnb and I’m so glad I did. Bright and early, I made by way to Canal St. Martin and met up with my hosts on top of the beautiful Amelie Bridge. Going on the tour was only myself and two other women, Amy and Beth. We went to 4 patisseries, a few coffee shops, and tried amazing croissants at every stop. During the first stop, we all sat in the shade next to the Seine sipping coffee, eating croissants, and chatting away. I knew then a good day was in store. Throughout the tour, we walked a route that led us through charming Parisian neighborhoods while our guides told us interesting baking and historical facts. It was a delicious experience.
At the end of the tour, I decided to accompany Amy and Beth on more sightseeing. They were sweet friends that had met while hiking in Switzerland and decided to do trips together. They talked about their cute baby grandkids and all the places they’d seen over their lives. We peeked in shops, like the highly recommended Shakespeare and Company book store. We walked through the Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation (Deportation Memorial), which is a free exhibit located behind the Notre Dame that is dedicated to the 200,000 French citizens who died in concentration camps during World War II. It is often overlooked with so many other things to do in Paris, but I definitely think it is a worthwhile and thought-provoking visit. Lastly, we admired art at the D’Orsay Museum, which was absolutely beautiful, and ended the day with crêpes.
I began the hottest day in Parisian history (a record-breaking 42.6 C or 108.7 F) at the Eiffel Tower. I spent the morning doing a photoshoot with Tara (@portraitsofparis).
I ended up with some amazing photos that I will have to always remember my time in Paris:
That day I also wandered around the Louvre. I noticed a girl that looked like she needed her photo taken. When I offered, we began talking and decided to keep exploring the city together. That’s how I met Nicole, a solo traveler from New Zealand. We saw Notre Dame and Saint-Chapelle, but as the afternoon sun grew harsher we decided to just find a shady spot near the water to sit.